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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

WHY DID ALL MY EXES CHEAT??

Why Did All My Exes Cheat?

Reeling from a series of bad relationships, one woman wonders how to move forward.

by

DR. GILDA CARLE (Ph.D.)

Courtesy of Match.com’s Happen Magazine

http://www.happenmag.com/magazine/index.aspx?lid=396



Dear Dr. Gilda,

I’m having a major run of bad luck. I had been married for 23 years when my husband said he was bored and didn’t want to be married to me anymore. It turns out he had been having an affair with a co-worker. A few months later, I met someone in the Air Force who was home on leave. I did not get sexually involved with the new guy until a month after my divorce, and we married a few months later.



I know now this was a rebound marriage, and it ended four months later, after I caught him having an affair with an old girlfriend—to top it off, he got her pregnant! I did have one new relationship two years after my second divorce, and it lasted eight months, but he decided to marry a woman from his church.


Dr. Gilda, what is my problem? I have trust issues. I’ve pulled myself out of the whole dating scene and now whenever a man shows me the slightest interest, I wonder, “OK, Bud, what are your real intentions?” I do admit to carrying some baggage still—anger and jealousy towards my ex-husbands. How do I work through my lack of trust and self-esteem?

Lonely In San Francisco


Dear Lonely,

Loneliness, distrust, anger, and jealousy are all obstacles to love. There’s nothing wrong with you except that you didn’t take time between marriages to discover your identity as an independent woman. When each husband cheated on you, you internalized it as something wrong with you. You still felt inadequate two years after your second marriage, when you established ties with another man who chose to marry someone else.


From the outside, it seems that each of these three men cast you aside for another woman. But you played a role in pushing each one out the door.


Let’s backtrack. You never did the necessary work to discover what went wrong in your marriage. Why was your husband bored? Were you bored, too, after 23 years? Did either of you try to recapture the waning passion? Instead of probing these questions, you licked your wounds with a military man only a few months later. You married him as an act of revenge against the husband who left you and as a way to bump up your self-confidence. Obviously, a revenge-marriage can’t work because it’s founded on the wrong things.


Good for you for pulling yourself out of the dating pool for now. That’s the healthiest thing you have done in a long time. But other actions must also be taken. While you’re alone, instead of complaining about your trust and self-esteem issues, acknowledge your past behavioral patterns. This is how:


1. Get into counseling with the goal of changing your “victim” mentality to that of “victor.”


2. Learn how far back you have been feeling angry and jealous. I would bet you had these feelings even before your first marriage—which probably impacted your marital derailment.

3. While you can lay blame on your men for cheating, also examine how you treated each guy. As my Gilda-Gram says, “For love to last, you must be invested in your partnership.” Can you describe yourself as being “invested” or just being in each relationship? Just being in a marriage is just drifting, and just drifting pushes a relationship to drift away.

4. Everyone brings something to the party. Distrust and shabby self-esteem make loving impossible. That’s how you may have pushed your partners out the door.

You signed your name, “Lonely in San Francisco.” Are you lonely enough to make some changes now? If so, these lessons were good lessons. The wonderful world of single life beckons you when you are finally ready.

Love,

Dr. Gilda




XXX

DR. GILDA CARLE (Ph.D.) is an internationally known psychotherapist, relationship educator, and management consultant. She is Match.com’s “Ask Dr. Gilda” advice columnist published on MSN.com. She is also known as the Country Music Doctor, with her “Country Cures.” She is a motivational speaker, professor of psychology & communications, the author of the well-known “Don’t Bet on the Prince!,” a test question on “Jeopardy,” 99 Prescriptions for Fidelity, How to Win When Your Mate Cheats, and many more. She was the therapist in HBO's Emmy Award winner, "Telling Nicholas," featured on Oprah, where she guided a family to tell their 7-year-old that his mom died in the World Trade Center bombing. She is currently developing her own TV show. Visit www.DrGilda.com and get her Instant Advice!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

How to Date in Midlife

How to Date in Midlife

by

DR. GILDA CARLE (Ph.D.)


One single midlife mom worries that her age, teenaged son, and desire to remarry are all driving potential suitors away. Convert your “challenges” to “opportunities” and score the love you want!


Courtesy of Match.com’s Happen Magazine 


http://www.happenmag.com/magazine/index.aspx?lid=396



Dear Dr. Gilda,

I am a single mom in her 50s with a teenage son spending half the time with me, mostly summers and holidays. Reading men’s profiles, it seems I have more than one challenge to overcome; that is, my age, my status as a single mom, and the fact that I’m looking for someone to share my life with that’d be okay with the fact that I can’t have more children. I have tried several dating services and met a few men, but there was no chemistry. I am attractive and look much younger than my age, I’m educated, professional, and independent with varied interests. I want someone who is like-minded and wants to settle down (and I say that in my profile — is that a turn-off?). Also, I have posted pictures of myself with my son at events — do you think these men are threatened by the idea of having to help parent a teenage boy? I’d rather use my profile to talk about myself and not my part-time custody arrangement in detail, but he is in my life and I’d rather that not be a surprise, either, since I’m looking to marry again. Any advice you can give me is much appreciated.

Remarriage-Ready Rita


Dear Remarriage-Ready Rita,

If you believe that raising a teenage son part of the time is a “challenge,” that’s exactly the vibe you will transmit to your dates. No man with all of his faculties wants a woman with burdens attached. Adjust your negative mindset and project the picture of a life that you are managing and enjoying to potential suitors. Since you can’t fake the feeling of being in control, get the help of a therapist to plot your path to positivity.


The next “challenge” you believe you’re up against is your age. According to you, people 50 and older are all dried up, unappealing and unmatchable. So why don’t we just annihilate that sector of the population? And while we’re at it, we could also throw in extra points for knocking off single moms in that age category. Finally, the fact that you can’t have children any longer should put your entire existence out to pasture! Do you hear how foolish this all sounds? You say, “I am attractive and look much younger than my age, am educated, professional, and independent with varied interests.” Oh, really? Unfortunately, the one trait overshadowing all the others is your awful lack of dating self-worth. If you don’t feel worthy of a guy’s effort, no guy will make the effort. Girl, get a hold of your shattered self-esteem at once!


You say you want to settle down and wonder if broadcasting that is a turn-off. Darling, you can’t think about permanence when your self-image is so shaky. As my Gilda-Gram says, “Healthy love first requires sturdy self-esteem.” So you have homework to do now before considering building a future with any man later.


This is what I think would benefit you:

1. Avoid posting photos of you and your son on dating sites. Such images CAN be a cold shower to a prospective partner. A guy is not looking to date your son; he’s interested in dating YOU! Post only pictures of yourself. If a man wants to get to know you further, your son will eventually come with the territory — later, after you and your date have established a meaningful connection on your own. Otherwise, it’s not fair to either your child or your date to force them into a trio when a romantic duo is what you desire.


2. Your thoughts jump directly to the idea of marriage without considering the intermediary steps required to get there. What’s the rush? S-l-o-w down! You have to get to know someone first, build a solid union, introduce your son into the mix, and then test how everyone gets along.


3. There is nothing wrong in telling a man you’d like to eventually marry again — but don’t share these intentions during your first communications with someone! Note the difference between “Hi, my name is Remarriage-Ready Rita” and “Hi, my name is Rita, and I’d like to learn what you’re about and discover what we have in common.” Which of these two statements do you think would be more successful when introducing yourself to potential dates? Exactly.



Dating is a waterfall of droplets that seeks its rhythm and pace without intrusion. If you let go, perhaps your 51st birthday present will arrive in the form of a partner worth keeping.

Love,

Dr. Gilda

XXX

GILDA CARLE (Ph.D.) is an internationally known psychotherapist, relationship educator, and management consultant. She is Match.com’s “Ask Dr. Gilda” advice columnist published on MSN.com. She is also known as the Country Music Doctor, with her “Country Cures.” She is a motivational speaker, professor of psychology & communications, the author of the well-known “Don’t Bet on the Prince!,” a test question on “Jeopardy,” 99 Prescriptions for Fidelity, How to Win When Your Mate Cheats, and many more. She was the therapist in HBO's Emmy Award winner, "Telling Nicholas," featured on Oprah, where she guided a family to tell their 7-year-old that his mom died in the World Trade Center bombing. She is currently developing her own TV show. Visit her website and get Instant Advice!